Merfolk are basically mammals, apes, who have decided to return to the sea and developed separate from humans.
The mermaids moved back in the sea after some of the monkey species decided to return to the sea. Think of whales turning back to sea. They are basically mammals.
They are born from their mother and protected strongly in hatchery until they are four years old. Usually one mother has between 2 to 10 children during their life time. In cities the females often co-operate to protect the children like kindergartens. They become in age around 15 years and after that the official family relationships are created.
They are affected by temperature-dependent sex determination. Thus colder water during pregnancy brings males awhile warmer water produces more females. Temperature also determines their sexual desire – the lower temperatures trigger the mating cycle.
They have keen sense of smell and thus they can smell blood as good as sharks, being hunters and scavengers.
Salt water merfolk can not breath in fresh water for long or their gills get damaged. Their blood turns dark blue, when it comes in contact with salt water, in fresh water source they remain red like human.
Over the time, they have developed into three larger groups, who have created their hierarchy by how they have developed. The ones with the tales being the highest ranking:
Fresh water merfolk with tales.
They developed separately from the salt water groups. They can use their voices above the water, but they can not interact with the rest of the salt water creatures because their hearing is on higher sound level than the salt water merfolk. They are all in light colors, reminding of white creature with golden flicker and sparkle. They are the gold fishes of the merfolk. Proud and not part of them really. They are also the ones, who are most seen in the rivers and lakes. They eat humans by luring them in with their songs.
Salt water merfolk with tales.
They are very proud, considering themselves to be higher in evolution ladder. They are often very decorated and sport cooler silver colors. They can not go on the seafloor for their breathing does not allow them to breath there properly. Their gills are placed behind their ear. They eat humans, luring them in with their singing. They live in the cities or scarcely over the oceans.
Salt water merfolk with feet.
They are often looked down at by Semewe, who believe that they are the Neanderthals of the merfolk. They can breath far lower than the rest of the merfolk and they have developed collapsible ribcage. Their gills are placed beneath their chin, on their neckline. They are the only ones that, if needed, go on ground, for they can hide their appearance to some extent. Their males are bigger than their females, making them stand out in the other merfolk, whom the opposite is true. They live in the cities or scarcely over the oceans.
In the family, they have marriages in sense that they create bond for life. The wife is free to choose, if she will continue supporting her family or her husbands. Most choose their husbands. The first born son is usually the one, who gains the title Sha’ after old patriarch gets too old. The sons are sent away from the family to avoid the power clashes between sons and fathers and to serve in another family, whom they often create close relationships with. Daughters are married off for material reasons.
In order to keep the relations clear and avoid flippy decisions, when the child is promised to the other family, the child receives their fourth rune above the 3 others. This means that she is to be married in that family alone and should either of the families refuse in later life, the child would forever be untouched by any other man but the man they were first promised to. No one else can claim the girl if she is signed to another. Marked for a family. . Settled lives, that was the custom of the upper crust. It was so the families wouldn’t take up marring their young ones off without care. Once promised, you were forbidden to anyone else. Permanent. That’s what they called drawing of the coat of arms on each other’s wrists. This is true mostly in high ranking classes while children of the common folk it is just kept in common belief that family relations are sacred.
Common tongue – is used in everyday life. It has simplified Norse alphabetic language base.
Old Norse – is the language that is sacred and taught only to higher classes like priests and rulers . It is business language, but nearly extinct from common use. It is the language that the old ways are practiced with, like markings on the hands. Yet the old contracts are in that language.
Creatures and monsters:
Roshaka class. Family ambition is to be “kingmaker”. This family is trying to rise and thus married their daughter off to the family, plus gave two sons, David and youngest brother to their service.
They were residents in the city, but they fell in poverty at some point. They lost most of their lands suddenly to human pollution, which has caused David’s serious dislike towards humans. That was also the point, where the bride of the oldest brother disappeared, which they believed was to break the promise duo sudden downfall. They were growing back to having influence duo fathers business, thus their honor is very important to them and must remain clean.
The family honor however has fallen under the threat, when David’s cousin Enach hides the spear on the ship and the ship is discovered by humans, resulting the spear to be taken on land. As David is older and completed his training, he is expected to return it to the family, save the family honor as he is second of age.
Mercuriad class. They escaped from the sea after their landlord decided to sell Isabel off. The Family’s ambition is to keep low profile and move in case they are discovered.
Second important family in the sea. They are favored by the Thriden family and they swim in that knowledge.
Fourth important family in the sea, who is Isabel’s real family.
Souls of the drowned
They walk on the bottom of the ocean, the drowned souls. They are part of the bottom, their legs never leaving it. They walk aimlessly and through you. They are not dangerous, just creepy. Humans don’t see them. But seacreatures can. And if possible, they avoid them by swimming higher. When the ghosts of those, who died at sea get their chance to come out and go home. During the darkest time of the year
There are large creatures that are not really considered as creatures in general idea. They are so large that they are elements. They are like thick water you suddenly slump into, like jelly that is otherwise like water, except it is thick and you find it hard to breathe in that. They don’t have organs similar to fauna.
One of the elementary creatures. It is like fog, thicker, milky and it burns anything that it touches.
One creature everybody fear. One that come in many. It is dependant of temperature, coming like locus, when the conditions are right and then disappearing again for twenty years. There is one mother and they populate like ants. They eat everything on their way and in order to keep this from happening and destroying the living cycle under the sea that merfolk follows, they need to keep its attacks under control. They can’t control it completely for the nature has set it so that if the mother dies, the rest of the followers will scatter, making them easier to kill over time, but if the conditions are right, a new mother is born, who then will start a colony again. They have one big nest in the South Sandwitch Trench. They are heat dependent. When the water gets too cold on the bottom in deep, the females are born. Thus one becoming the mother. The only way to keep them from eating everyone is to kill the mother, who births warrior ants, bloodthirsty monsters, whose nearness drives in frenzy.
All the salt water merfolk are under clan rule. The family consists the blood related family, plus mix of servants, army members and people, who live on their lands under their rule. They are all rulers of their own lands given to their possession by higher Roshaka. The lands are all under one ruler, who is the leader over the decisions made there. He/she is the one, whom all others in that blood relations belong to.
The Mercuriad and Brachay fall under the rule of Roshaka of their land and are completely in their mercy. Being the ones, who are the basic servants, their children’s faith lies in their hands – they decide to exchange or sell them, they have no choice but to obey.
The Insignias are four rune combinations on their hands. Class mark consists of 2 runes. The family crest is bindrune. Counting from top: Family crest. Rank, Class mark and Class mark.
They live in pyramid system, which is divided in 5 classes:
Brinnias – Priests
Roshaka – Warriors and rulers.
Brachary – Skilled traders, merchants and minor officials
Mercuriad – “The Deep race”, of unskilled workers
Trachany – outcasts, the untouchables, “the Children of God”. To be called “less than trachany” is considered the worst insult there can be.
Sha’ – the ruler, the highest. It’s the title, which is held only by one in the clan. By the one, under whom all the lands are. In the family that title only belongs to one person, whom then is also responsible for the court law and mingling with other royals. They themselves are not royals.
Sha’malik – chieftain of 4 tribes.
Madd’a – mother
Dad’a – father
Laws used in stories:
- It is forbidden to speak to the higher ranking merfolk unless you are given the right to speak.
- Unskilled workers are not allowed to mingle with warriors or ruling class. That does not mean it doesn’t happen behind the closed doors, but that only happens between household servants and their rulers and never with outsiders.
- Old Norse is not taught to anyone beneath Roshaka. Thus the fact that she can easily read it makes her invaluable to David for he no longer has to have someone read it for him. Warriors were not taught how to read the old Norse, only their general language.